University is a key battleground for UKIP. We have a fledgling Universities presence, but there is more to do. As the only Chairman candidate who set up a University society I understand how hard it is to tackle union bureaucracy, as well as get speakers, hold events people will attend and win members.
We must not let our universities presence die off, while my opponent is well meaning in wanting University societies to be serious places it is dangerous to try and centrally control our campus presences. When Conservative Future try and limit the activities of their members at Universities they see either the societies with and die, or implode such as the recent Leeds CF society mostly defecting to us.
Equally, it is useful to have University students working in the constituency, but we must not force this like my opponent proposes. For many students, University will be the first time they experience UKIP and YI. Pushing them to do things is a sure fire way to lose their support.
Like with other members, we need to bind University students into the party by forging friendships and building links. Once students within a society feel comfortable after making friends at social events then is the time to ask them to campaign, not to compel them before hand. By holding regional events, as well as having a proper YI conference we will encourage new members to get properly committed.
Universities are a key area for YI, we cannot afford to lose the progress we have started. Handled correctly they could be a big recruiting ground for us.